Leaders in the House and Senate this evening approved a supplemental operating budget agreement that funds a series of WSU priorities and sent it to the governor.

The two chambers’ compromise provides $7.5 million for compensation enhancements. It improved upon the formula used to fund such increases consisting of a mix of new appropriation and tuition revenue. Such funding splits most recently have been 53 percent new appropriation and 47 percent tuition. This year’s budget improves that ratio to 65 percent new appropriation and 35 percent tuition, recognizing the formula has been frustrated when new tuition revenues don’t materialize as total enrollment ebbs and flows.

The budget compromise also provides $2.1 million for WSU to establish a new academic degree in Cybersecurity Operations at the Pullman, Tri-Cities and Everett campuses. It will be offered by the Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture. A second cybersecurity proposal — a new Information Assurance major to Business Administration degree offered by the Carson College of Business — was not funded.

The compromise also provides funding for WSU to develop a one-year psychiatric and behavioral health residency program in Eastern Washington. The state’s $341,000 investment will allow WSU to develop a program with two residents a year providing care to patients in clinical settings, specifically in Eastern Washington where access to behavioral health services is limited. The advocacy effort was a cooperation with the University of Washington which will establish a similar program.

The budget also funds a series of other priorities involving WSU, including an array of assignments brought by legislators.

  • House Bill 1622 directs the WSU College of Nursing to provide training for nurses seeking to become certified as Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners. The budget provided $122,000 in annual funding to implement it.
  • The budget provides an additional $608,000 per year in core support for the Washington State Academy of Sciences, for which WSU is the fiscal agent.
  • Costs to implement apprenticeship and anti-hazing legislation are fully funded.
  • Funding for WSU research or work group assignments is provided for stormwater, an agricultural symbiosis initiative, community solar projects, energy code education, catalytic converter theft policy, and policy associated with towing vehicles used by homeless individuals as a residence.

The operating budget compromise now goes to the governor for his signature. Today is the final day of this year’s 2022 legislative session and adjournment is expected by midnight.